Finnish Designer Trio Takes Home Top Prize at Hyères Festival

Siiri Raasakka, Tiia Siren and Elina Laitenen won over a fashion jury with their rave culture-inspired men’s wear collection.

RAVE REVIEW: Injecting a youthful, joyous, rainbow-hued dose of fun into men’s fashion, the Finnish designer trio Siiri Raasakka, Tiia Siren and Elina Laitenen — all three fashion students at the Aalto University of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki — scooped up the L’Oréal Professionnel-sponsored main prize at the 27th edition of the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography this weekend, winning over a fashion jury presided over by Yohji Yamamoto with their rave culture-inspired men’s wear collection. The prize is valued at 15,000 euros, or about $19.900 at current exchange rates. Hand embroidered with a spectrum of spiky Swarovski Elements, one sweatshirt in their collection weighed 25 kilos (55 pounds). Twisting tradition, one vibrant cardigan had a hairy mound of colorful threads at its shoulder, inspired by age-old Finnish rug-making techniques, and was adorned with glow sticks. “These three girls represent the youth and energy that has been growing over the last three to four — maybe longer — years, and the industry has waited for it to burst and get recognition,” said Terry Jones, founder of i-D, who was on the jury.


This story first appeared in the April 30, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

RELATED STORY: Yohji Yamamoto to Direct First Feature Film >>


The event’s new Chloé Award, also worth 15,000 euros, went to Canadian designer Steven Tai. Estonian knitwear designer Ragne Kikas won the Première Vision Award, valued at 10,000 euros, or $13,250.

Based in the South of France, the festival is a platform for emerging talent that has helped launch the careers of designers such as Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, Charles Anastase and Gaspard Yurkievich.